People pose with syringe with needle in front of World Health Organization WHO logo, in this illustration taken December 11, 2021. REUTERS Dado Ruvic Illustration
The World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Tuesday that there is no evidence that healthy children and adolescents need booster doses of COVID 19 vaccine.
She said there was some waning of vaccine immunity over time against the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the coronaviruses, but more research needs to be done to determine who needs booster doses.
There is no evidence right now that healthy children or heavy adolescents need boosters. She said there was no evidence at all.
Israel has begun offering boosters to children as young as 12, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a third dose of the Pfizer PFE.N and BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years old.
Germany became the latest country to recommend that all children between the ages of 12 and 17 receive a COVID booster shot. Hungary has also done so.
Swaminathan said the WHO's top group of experts would meet later this week to discuss the specific question of how countries should give boosters to their populations.
The aim is to protect vulnerable people, to protect those at the highest risk of severe disease and dying. She said that elderly populations, immuno-compromised people with underlying conditions, are also healthcare workers.